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I thought this tour was great. I've read the other reviews and honestly feel like a lot of these travelers are truly uninformed about what to expect when you visit these locations. The hotel pick-up could not have been more convenient. Our driver Ronnie was on-time and very personable. He was even very accommodating to couple that was extremely late for their pick-up even though he didn't have to be but he wanted everyone to have a great experience. The rain forest trek and Luquillo Beach were great. Kayaking was wonderful. People complaining about a science lecture or the enhanced pictures literally have no concept of nature and no appreciation of the very informative guides. Omar- our lead kayak guide- was extremely knowledgeable about the ecosystem of the Bay and very handsome!. There are many ways to participate in these activities like, driving yourself and not having a guide but if you want the convenience of having a worry-free excursion, this is the way to go. Also, just FYI, the company calls you the day before your tour and tells you everything you will need. Several people on my tour didn't listen and then complained. For example: they tell you to bring a change of clothes because you will be wet after the bio bay. So if you're wet and cold on the drive back to you hotel, it's your own fault. Pay attention, follow the rules, take heed to the suggestions, and don't be a rude traveler!
The tour guides were horrible! It was E and B tours. They just dropped us off at the Beach, there were no chairs or umbrellas and then we had to walk another 20 mins to eat. They were late picking us up after the beach and when we called the company, they were very unhelpful. I enjoyed the kayak tour and the rain forest but would not book the entire tour for one day. It was basically a taxi service to each of the destinations.
I have to break this up into 3 parts to be fair...
Rainforest ..... 5 stars - charles, the tour guide for this portion was informative, happy, careful in both his driving as well as the safety challenges that are present on the tour. I can not recommend this portion highly enough
Luquillo Beach... 3 stars - Charles dropped us off giving us the quick version of the points of interest on the beach. However, he did not mention that if you walk to the left for 15-20 min you will come upon a string of stores/kiosks bars and restaurants. Don't go here and miss this portion of the beach.
Bioluminescent Bay Kayak Tour... 1 star - Rocky, our guide for the rest of the evening, was a giant u-turn from the professional and personable Charles. He didn't introduce himself barely spoke english, didn't ask anyone their names and did not give us any information about the places we were passing. Nor did he even ask if we enjoyed the beach or had any issues. I speak passable spanish so I would have known if he tried. Upon returning us to our hotels, even though we were wet from being in the water he kept blasting the air conditioner, even though he was asked repeatedly to lower it. In addition, played 70's love music the whole time we were in his charge - it was not fun!!!
The Bioluminescent Bay itself was A GIANT LIE - THE PICTURES ARE ENHANCED - the lady who led the tour admitted as much!!! A number of people wanted their money back and I didn't blame them. Very simply, it is a 30 min kayak ride to get to the bay through a pitch black channel. You get there and get a 10 minute science lecture on the bay. basically if you splash the water with your hand or the oar from the kayak it will glow green for 2 seconds and then stop. Followed immediately by the 30 min trip back. If this sounds fun to you for 50 bucks - enjoy! Most people were NOT HAPPY!!! The Kayak Tour company refused to refund anyones money! SKIP THIS PART!!!
Friday of our recent trip to Puerto Rico was definitely our most active day. We were picked up in the lobby of the Caribe Hilton at 08:45 and didn't return until 21:30, with stops at El Yunque Rainforest, Luquillo Beach, and a Bio Bay kayak tour filling our entire day. Charles, our tour guide for the Rainforest and Beach, was filled the drive with local history about San Juan, Condado, and Carolina. Throughout the day, he seamlessly bounced back and forth between English and Spanish to ensure everyone on the tour understood what we were seeing.
By the time we arrived in the Rainforest, it was down pouring. The rain would last off and on throughout our time their, but the tree coverage kept us relatively dry and the gift shop ponchos did the rest. The hike was moderately challenging, but definitely worth it once I had the chance to jump in the water at the base of the waterfall.
A short drive later, we were at Luquillo Beach. It was still overcast, but that didn't stop us from sipping pina coladas from pineapples and walking with our feet in the ocean. Once the sun came out the views along the coast were picture worthy.
The third, and most interesting stop on the tour, was a Bio Bay kayak excursion run by Eco Adventures Puerto Rico. We started out in a relatively wavy bay and quickly followed 40-50 other kayaks from various tour groups into the mangrove lined stream and worked our way to Laguna Grande. The night was cloudy, so their was some light pollution from the nearby town, but we were able to see the glowing plankton first under a tarp over four of the kayaks and then as we paddled back to the stream. This was a highlight of our entire trip and one of the few things we actually planned during the vacation. Be prepared for a lot of traffic in on the stream as there are so many other kayaks. You will have other kayaks crash into you, but that shouldn't deter you from experiencing this natural wonder. You and everything you bring with will get wet, but the guides will take your picture and post on their Facebook page so you can grab copies of them.
If you are looking to visit El Yunque Rainforest and see the Bio Bay, I would definitely recommend this tour. The extra stop at the beach adds some relaxing time in between two active stops. If you're staying in San Juan, the hotel pickup makes it that much more convenient. Be prepared to be tired at the end of the day, but you should still have plenty of energy for a night cap. I would suggest not planning to early of a morning the day after.
Great day experience. Charles, our guide was very informative. Learned so much about the history and charm of Puerto Rico. The Rain forest was great. Stopped to eat real Puerto Rican food. Delicious! The beach was beautiful. Had a great time kayaking on the ocean to and from the lagoon watching the sunset. Even with a half moon we were able to see the little sparks light up in the water. Expected more bioluminescence, but hey it's nature and there isn't a switch to turn on and off. Our guide Oben was very patient and helpful. He was very knowledgeable and we enjoyed learning something new. It was a very enjoyable day for me and three of my adult daughters. Thanks for a great time